The Damage Skin Goes Through on a Daily Basis

No one’s perfect. Some days, our face is washed thoroughly, and other days it’s suffocated by makeup overnight. No matter what is done, skin can still break out and appear uneven. But how much does sleeping with makeup on truly damage the skin?

Find out if that and other bad practices are actually causing skin damage, or if it’s all just a big myth.

Q: Does the face need to be washed in the morning and at night?

A: No! According to Arleen Lamba, M.D., founder of Blush Med Skincare, it’s more than safe to skip the morning wash. In fact, she recommends it. Lamba says, “We sleep so that our bodies can recharge and repair our organs, including our skin. When we use harsh exfoliants and chemical cleansers, we scrub off the essential oils our skin has produced to maintain health.” Additionally, harsh face washes and cleansers can irritate the skin, making it blotchy and red. If this happens, washing the face at night before going to sleep will give the skin plenty of time to mellow out by morning.

Q: Does sunscreen need to be applied everyday?

A: Yes! Regardless of what season it is or how the skin usually reacts to the sun, sunscreen should be applied every day outside. The sun emits harmful UV rays all year round, and even on cloudy days, 80 percent of these rays can penetrate the skin. It’s especially important that sunscreen is worn around snow, sand and water as these surfaces reflect UV rays and will still cause damage. The best practice is to use a moisturizer or foundation with sunscreen in it; this way, two birds are killed with one stone.

Q: Does sleeping with makeup on cause skin damage?

A: Yes! Most people have done it before, and by now have learned exactly what kind of effect sleeping with makeup has on the skin. For those who don’t know, here are a few things to expect in the days after waking up with a full face of makeup on. First, the pores will be clogged and are likely to become stretched out by the leftover foundation. By removing makeup and cleansing the skin the next morning, most of the makeup stuck in the pores can be removed. The face will likely feel dry, since makeup is often designed to keep face oils under control. Using a gentle exfoliator and a moisturizer should do the trick to fix that up. Unfortunately though, the damage has already been done, and it’s more than likely that the skin will experience a heinous breakout over the next few days. Changing pillowcases is also essential, as it’s contaminated with makeup bacteria that will continue to cause breakouts if not washed.

Q: Does washing the face with cold water help make pores smaller?

A: No! The skin’s pores do not have muscles that open or close them, regardless of the temperature of the water being used. In fact, using either hot or cold water to wash can cause damage to the skin. It’s best to avoid the extremes and stick with lukewarm water during a cleansing routine.

Q: Does drinking alcohol affect the skin?

A: Yes! Unfortunately, happy hour is responsible for dehydrating the body, and the proof is written all over the face. Alcohol also decreases the body’s Vitamin A, which is essential for cell renewal. This might be why the morning after a night out of drinking the face seems to be missing that healthy glow, along with several other side effects of a hangover. Drinking a glass of water with every alcoholic drink can help to stay hydrated, and will make the morning after slightly less painful.

Q: Does air pollution cause early aging?

A: Yes! Recent studies have found that those living in urban areas with a high amount of traffic passing through were prone to early aging. Studying people in both China and Germany, it was discovered that the early development of age spots is caused by nitrogen dioxide in the air. Aside from skin discoloration, air pollutants have been named the cause of broken blood vessels, rosacea, acne and wrinkles. These occurrences aren’t limited to China and Germany either. Studies have been done in New York, India, Paris and other heavily populated areas around the world. Since this study is so new, there aren’t many solutions or prevention methods on the market just yet.

Q: Do greasy foods and chocolate cause breakouts?

A: No! There have been many studies done, and none were able to link greasy foods or chocolate to acne breakouts. According to Michael Green, M.D., a dermatologist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, breakouts that are caused by stress are often blamed on these types of foods as stress will often cause people to reach for the hidden stash of chocolate bars or order some Chinese food. The only foods known to cause acne are dairy products and foods high in carbohydrates such as soda and french fries.

Q: Are natural products better for the skin?

A: No! While some people have found that products labeled as “natural” work best for their skin conditions, others have found that they’ve caused nothing but irritation. Natural products might not be made from synthetic materials, but they can still cause skin damage and allergic reactions. Additionally, there has been no research done to back up the idea that natural skincare products are more effective or safer to use.

Q: Does toothpaste work to quickly get rid of a pimple?

A: Yes! Most toothpastes contain ingredients found in many acne products such as hydrogen peroxide, baking soda, witch hazel and sulfur, making them great for getting rid of that zit quickly. If left on too long, however, the combination of all of these ingredients will dry out the skin and can even cause an open sore. When in a pinch it can work, but it can also make a zit look a hundred times worse. It’s best to use products that aren’t so harsh on the skin, or rub some alcohol or witch hazel on it instead.

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Paul A. Boulos
Dr. Paul A. Boulos is an excellent and versatile cosmetic surgeon, passionate about his vocation and helping others. Dr. Boulos is an alumni of Rowan University School of Osteopathic Medicine and completed his General Surgery training at Inspira Medical in Southern New Jersey. He studied and learn under Dr. Joseph Castellano, one of the premier breast and body Cosmetic Surgeons in South Florida. He currently works as a Cosmetic Surgeon at Jolie Plastic Surgery in Miami, FL.